7 August 2014

Earlier this week, I read somewhere that rail fares are going up again; a continuation of the steep curve that’s seen ticket prices creep up much faster than the rate of wage growth. It’s no surprise that this has put people’s noses well and truly out of joint. If I had to commute to work on a busy train every morning, I’d probably feel the same way, especially as the limited connectivity would prevent me from making the most of my time and doing some work en route.

train-moneyLooking at a breakdown of ticket prices and where that money goes, the majority is supposed to go on making improvements to the service. I’d be interested to know whether any rail users reading this have noticed these improvements. There are certainly plenty of people asking why they’re being forced to cough up for this instead of the money coming out of profits. Either way, the system we have now pales in comparison to the rail services of so many other countries.

Is there enough money in the budget to design and build HS2 and improve transport links, not only between major players in the North West of England, but within more rural areas that are vastly overlooked? Having grand ideas to transform Britain is all well and good, but everything comes at a price. Whether the government is astute enough and business savvy enough not to overspend on these projects remains to be seen. I wonder whether other areas of society will have to make sacrifices in order for so much spending on brand new high speed railway lines to take place.

With ticket prices already spiralling out of control, what should we be doing to balance the investment in infrastructure with the needs and interests of the British people?

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